Wisdom teeth are the last molars that develop on each side of the jaw. They usually emerge in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16-20. Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, they cause problems and require removal. When the mouth is not large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part-way through the gingiva, or remain trapped beneath the soft tissue and bone. A wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. Dr. Boyter will examine the teeth and x-rays to determine whether a referral to an oral surgeon is needed. If completed in our office, he will numb the area with a local anesthetic. After the tooth (or teeth) is removed, the patient is given gauze and is instructed to bite down softly for a recommended amount of time to limit any bleeding. Some pain and swelling may occur, but it will usually go away after a few days.